A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

House Special Chow Mein

Chow Mein Recipe

Just like the takeaway, the addition of king prawns (shrimp) makes this what's known as house-special chow mein. 

Chicken chow mein with vegetables. Pictured in a bowl with chopsticks.
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*Post updated February 2022* 

However, you can of course leave the prawns out and make this chicken chow mein. Or, you can add pork or beef or both.

Chow mein noodles, taste just like you get from the takeaway. Stir-frying is easy-peasy and it really is up to you what else you fancy adding. 

You really need a wok or a large skillet for this. You can buy a decent wok for under £15 over at Amazon.

What is chow mein?

Chow mein is basically stir-fried noodles with vegetables and sometimes meat or tofu; the name is a romanization of the Taishanese chāu-mèn.

The dish is popular throughout the Chinese diaspora and appears on the menus of most Chinese restaurants abroad. It is particularly popular in India, Nepal, the UK, and the US.

Find out how to velvet chicken making it really soft and tender using bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), this also works for beef. It really does work although you must remember to rinse off the bicarb before cooking!


  • Fresh egg noodles
  • Skinless chicken fillets 
  • King prawns - raw 
  • Garlic 
  • a mix of white and green cabbage, carrot, bean sprouts, red bell pepper and spring onions (scallions)

Chow mein marinade for chicken

  • cornflour
  • light soy sauce
  • Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine) is available on Amazon or Sainsbury's

Chow mein sauce

  • light soy sauce
  • dark soy sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • brown sugar
  • white pepper

How to make chicken chow mein just like the takeaway

Start by preparing your ingredients - you can either chop and slice vegetables by hand or cheat and buy a pack of those ready-prepared stir-fry veggie packs from the supermarket.

The only thing I would suggest is to tip them out and have a sort though - sometimes you'll find mingy bits, like the end of the cabbage that you wouldn't include if you chopped them yourself!

But as a time saver and cheaper rather than buying beansprouts etc separately, they are most marvellous.

Chow mein noodles and vegetables

The full recipe is in the recipe card below, but basically, you just stir-fry the chicken and garlic, add the vegetables along with the prawns. Add the chow mein sauce and stir-fry till cooked.

Then add the spring onions and a splash of your favourite chilli sauce, if using.

Chow mein noodles

That's it, now prepare to dive in! 

Chow mein noodles in a serving bowl

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

house special chow mein, chow mein recipe, chicken chow mein, how to make chicken chow mein like the takeaway,
Chinese, recipe, chicken
Yield: 3-4
Author: Jan Bennett
House Special Chow Mein

House Special Chow Mein

You can, of course, use pork or beef instead of chicken, or a mix.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 6 MinInactive time: 10 MinTotal time: 21 Min


  • 400g pack of fresh egg noodles - not the dried noodles
  • 2 skinless chicken fillets - sliced into thin strips
  • 8-12 raw king prawns (shrimp) - shelled and deveined
  • 3 fat cloves garlic - minced or very finely chopped
  • 320g pack of ready prepared stir-fry vegetables from the supermarket containing a mixture of beansprouts, carrot, green cabbage, Chinese leaf, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and red pepper.
  • Plus 2 spring onions (scallions) - sliced
Marinade for the Chicken (if using)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
Chow Mein Sauce ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • a good pinch of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • a splash of your favourite chilli sauce


  1. Add the thinly sliced chicken to the bowl with the marinade in and give it a good mix. Leave it on one side for 10 minutes while you get on with mincing the garlic and slicing the spring onions.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all the chow mein sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Heat up your wok over high heat and add a tablespoon of oil.
  4. Throw in the chopped garlic and stir-fry until just for a few seconds, don't let it burn or it will taste bitter.
  5. Give the chicken a stir and it along with the marinade to the wok. Stir-fry for a minute or so until the chicken is only half cooked.
  6. Now add the vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes keeping everything moving about in the wok.
  7. Add the prawns and stir-fry until they only just start to turn pink.
  8. Now add the noodles to the wok along with the chow mein sauce.
  9. Continue to stir-fry until the noodles are well coated with the sauce and the chicken and prawns are properly cooked through. The prawns will be pink when properly cooked.
  10. Add chilli sauce if using and stir. Have a taste and add a pinch of sugar if you need to.
  11. Throw in the spring onions, stir and serve straight away.
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